On June 1, Inven Global gathered some key figures in the esports scene for the 2022 Inven Global Esports Conference. The main topic was about “Innovation of the blockchain”, and Andrew Campbell (Sky Mavis program lead of esports and content creators), Arnold Hur (Gen.G CEO), and Chris Gonsalves (Community Gaming CEO) joined Hauk Nelson (NRG blockchain strategy and development lead) to discuss the blockchain industry getting implemented in the gaming world.
On blockchain's negative reputation
All three panelists agreed that there is backlash towards the blockchain technology and that they understand why the backlash exists. "The biggest reason gamers don’t care or don’t like this is because it feels that the Web3 initiatives are being forced into the community. They haven't earned the right," Hur said.
Hur asserted that the Web3 initiatives need to earn their right into the esports world, by creating a great gaming experience before forcing it onto the community. Gonsalves brought up 100 Thieves as an example. “For one thing, they didn’t call it NFT, they called it “digital collectibles”, and they made it completely free to claim, so there’s no money-related accusations. Most importantly, they celebrated fan achievement,” Gonsalves explained
“What farms most clicks are generally deconstructive — in terms of headlines, hacks, people losing money, and disastrous things are what grab people's attention,” said Campbell. But he focused on the developing talent that was moving into the blockchain world. “90% of the decentralized blockchain world may be bad, but the other 10% is where the best builders in the world exist. It may be still early, but more and more really smart engineers want to enter this world as it has more potential.”
Blockchain and esports
The three panelists moved on to discuss the future of the blockchain technology in esports. “What's more important is all these game-developing talent is moving to Web3. Web3 is an opportunity to broaden the base of people that can earn a living through gaming,” Hur said. Campbell added that if an individual's game account is their bank account, it gets so much easier for developers to reward the users.
One of the reasons that blockchain technology is being delayed in entering the gaming and esports industry was that there were too many people that jumped in for easy money grabs in the first place. “We’re seeing hangover effects,” said Hur.
Game developers don't understand blockchain
Campbell also talked with a strong voice about wrong approaches from the game developers.
“Many people in the token economy say that they want to launch their economy before they even think about the game loop. That is a failed thesis. That is never going to work. They'll be playing the cat and mouse game forever, trying to fix the holes in the economy because they don't have a foundation. It doesn't matter if the logic is right if the premise is wrong.”
“So few people are thinking about the future, most are thinking of the short term, and that's totally frustrating,” he added
Esports first, or blockchain first?
The last question of the session was brought up by Nelson. “What do you think will happen first, top esports title bringing in blockchain tech, or a blockchain game become a major esports title?”
“Winners dilemma,” said Hur, and continued, “Major publishers in the top esports title don't want to risk. They're waiting for somebody else to succeed,” and said that he’s expecting to see another developer succeed with “a great gaming experience with a side rail that allows gamers to gain a Web3 portion.”
Gonsalves thought a traditional game developer will come first and said that it’ll be very soon, giving a top game developer as an example.
“KRAFTON announced plans to innovate NFT tech into PUBG and their other games. Riot and Blizzard are all thinking about it right now, but are waiting. It'll probably be on the esports side first with maybe some digital trophy or digital collectibles like 100 Thieves, to celebrate and complement what gamers are doing in the esports world.” Chris was sure that all western developers will be doing it, but asserted that they will be “fast followers, not first movers.”